Why do casinos win at blackjack?

  • eldorado

    Why do casinos win at blackjack?

    I’m still trying to figure this out.

    Lets look at the facts:

    1. The deck is shuffled

    2. The amount of players at the table is constantly changing so they cant shuffle it to be advantageous to them

    3. Players are taking cards and standing at random

    And somehow the dealer consistently wins more hands than everyone else at the table.

    Also, the dealer has to hit on anything less than 17 which is way more than most players playing basic strategy and somehow they bust even less than players do. How is this if the cards coming out are random? I could see it being rigged that the 7th player (dealer on a 6 player table) always gets the best cards but the dealer can go from being the 2nd player to the 7th at any time.

    Also, it seems like dealers consistently will get 7 or 8 small cards to add up to 20 or 21 but I usually always bust on 3 or more cards.

    How is this??

  • Meta_4

     

    You mentioned “I could see it being rigged that the 7th player (dealer on a 6 player table) always gets the best cards.” Now you’ve got me curious … how exactly that would be accomplished? Can the rigging be done even when an MDII machine is used? I’ve noticed that Harrah’s uses 5-seat tables. Perhaps that’s so that the table will be consistently full, so that the dealer will consistently get the 6th hand which is rigged to win.

    Using Stoidina Betting Method, I have tabulated my results in live casinos. Without going into the details of the system for those who aren’t aware, the system basically says to sit out a hand if you lose two in a row. This is a strong system, since as you have noticed, the dealer gets lots of strong hands, and if you play every hand, you’ll get crushed like all the other saps at the table. My own data shows that the dealer gets about 25% more blackjacks per hour than I’ve had, over the 8 months I’ve been making detailed tabulations. I think you’re definitely onto something.

    I’ve noticed something possibly similar, but if it’s not, then I don’t want to go off on too much of a tangent: I notice that on Saturday nights, more people are losing than on Tuesday nights. I keep meticulous data on my own trips, and I’ve seen the same effect from my logs: I have had 12 losing Saturdays, but only 3 losing Tuesdays.

  • UK-21

     

    A profound question, although one you’ll get a drubbing for posting as you haven’t done any reading on the underlying dynamics of the game before doing so.

    If I may I will illustrate it like this:

    The player and the house do not play by the same set of rules. There are some rules that the dealer must adhere to, and some that only the player has or may invoke – BJs pay 3:2, the option to split hands, double down, surrender and stand on any total.

    The biggest advantage the house has is that it plays last – so even if a player busts out, and the dealer busts as well, the house still wins. This is a huge advantage for the house. All of the advantageous rules that favour the player (including the dealer having to draw to 17 or better) do not counter this single disadvantage, and the net effect is that the house has an overall advantage (read “edge”) over the player.

    With players adopting and applying perfect basic strategy, this is ranges from around 0.06% – 0.70% depending on the number of decks and rulesets in force. If you choosed to play single deck 6:5 BJ, then the House Edge is 1.45%, significantly different from a traditional 3:2 game.

    As most players do not play perfect BS, or make any attempt to play it at all, the house will enjoy an advantage over such players of somewhere between 1.5% and 4%, depending on how many mistakes they make. If a player adopts the “mimic the dealer” approach, the house will have an advantage of around 7%. From what I’ve written above, you should be able to work out why.

    Your comment re the number of cards you have seen the dealer draw to win, and the number you regularly busted on are based on a relatively small number of games you have played. If you were to run a computer simulation of, say, ten million hands the results (read loss if playing BS) would come close to the house edge.

    General advice is to get some books and do some reading. There are plenty of recommendations in past postings on the board.

    Good luck.

  • NightStalker

    Hitches

    Our mind remember when we lose those big hands and likes to think about it.. But we forget bunch of hands won before that losing streak..
    Dealer definitely bust more than any player assuming dealer always completes his hand.

  • FLASH1296

     

    eldorado,

    Dramatic exaggeration and hyperbole are ill-advised, if not verboten here.

    You said: … dealers consistently will get 7 or 8 small cards to add up to 20 or 21

    You are unlikely to have ever seen an 8 card dealer hand, and perhaps you have seen a 7 card

    dealer hand on exceedingly rare occasions; and that is ignoring final sums of 17 through 19.

  • paddywhack

    Saw an 8 card 18 the other night

    Quote: FLASH1296 said:
    eldorado,

    Dramatic exaggeration and hyperbole are ill-advised, if not verboten here.

    You said: … dealers consistently will get 7 or 8 small cards to add up to 20 or 21

    You are unlikely to have ever seen an 8 card dealer hand, and perhaps you have seen a 7 card

    dealer hand on exceedingly rare occasions; and that is ignoring final sums of 17 through 19.

    Not a likely occurrence but does happen:
    A22A62A3

    PS: Ace was up, I had two pat 17’s.

  • UK-21

     

    Quote: Meta_4 said:
    You mentioned “I could see it being rigged that the 7th player (dealer on a 6 player table) always gets the best cards.” Now you’ve got me curious … how exactly that would be accomplished? Can the rigging be done even when an MDII machine is used? I’ve noticed that Harrah’s uses 5-seat tables. Perhaps that’s so that the table will be consistently full, so that the dealer will consistently get the 6th hand which is rigged to win.

    Using Stoidina Betting Method, I have tabulated my results in live casinos. Without going into the details of the system for those who aren’t aware, the system basically says to sit out a hand if you lose two in a row. This is a strong system, since as you have noticed, the dealer gets lots of strong hands, and if you play every hand, you’ll get crushed like all the other saps at the table. My own data shows that the dealer gets about 25% more blackjacks per hour than I’ve had, over the 8 months I’ve been making detailed tabulations. I think you’re definitely onto something.

    I’ve noticed something possibly similar, but if it’s not, then I don’t want to go off on too much of a tangent: I notice that on Saturday nights, more people are losing than on Tuesday nights. I keep meticulous data on my own trips, and I’ve seen the same effect from my logs: I have had 12 losing Saturdays, but only 3 losing Tuesdays.

    What day of the week do you usually win ?

  • Jon.

    We do we lose so much

    Three words: You go first.

    or

    Three words: Dealer goes second.

    In reality, with perfect play, the dealers wins 48% of the hands, we win 44% of the hands and we push 8% of the time.

    Why does the dealer seem to make more hands? Because the dealer does make more hands. The dealer hits more than us because he never stands on a stiff. So the dealer busts more and the dealer pulls more “amazing” hands.

    Our problem is that when we bust and then the dealer busts, we still lose.

    All the other stuff about the dealer pulling better cards than us is just impressions. We remember the bad beats more than the great pulls.

  • pogostick

     

    I have heard that if every player played perfect bj , the casinos would have to change the rules to make enough money to pay for the over head. I will give up .50 % & work it down from there with counting. From my impression , you do not know perfect basic strategy. The dealer will make his hand with 3 or more cards simply because he has to hit more often. You do have the advantage of doubling down & splitting & you can raise or lower your bet. The casino will never cheat you . Why would they risk millions to cheat you out of $10 . Think about it. (Casino Comission watch dog). Good luck & go to basic strategy engine. POGO

  • blackchipjim

    why casinos win

    One of the reasons casinos seem to win is that they have tons more money than you. You leave and they are still there winning off of people who are clueless. Selective memory has a way of tricking us into thinking the dealer is always winning. I have seen plenty of people play bj like the house which gives the house a bigger edge then the normal house edge. If you play long enough and on a regular basis your oppinion will change. I change between playing one spot to two places depending on certain things and for different reasons non of which are to change the flow of cards.

The BlackjackInfo Knowledge Base contains over 200,000 messages posted by the BlackjackInfo community.

Posting and replies to the knowledge base are no longer available, but comments and replies are welcomed on the blog.